3,456 Miles

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An end of the year/end of the semester post is due, but I haven’t quite been sure where to start. I’ve learned a lot – I’m always learning – and somehow this chapter of my life has left me feeling confident and confused, whole and broken. But very fulfilled. Is that possible?

As far as commuting goes… I did it. I conquered a 16 credit hour semester with two 40-minute drives three times a week for 16 weeks. That’s 64 hours I’ve spent in my beat-up Saturn cruising down 50-highway for a total of 3,456 miles.

I conquered the commute and came out on top of my classes, raising my cumulative GPA about 0.5 from where Mizzou left it. And I somehow managed to work about 15 hours every week as well as maintain what I know is my first healthy relationship and a healthy involvement in Greek Life as well.

I successfully turned my life around, back to where I always wanted it to be, after I let whatever overcame me destroy everything I knew my freshman year.

And yes, I’ve looked deep into classic literature and learned how to get teenagers to listen to what I have to say, but I’ve also learned more about life and myself. I’ve continued to learn the importance of forgiveness, as well as the importance of keeping pieces of your life for yourself.

I’m an open book and most of the time I don’t have a filter, but I think those are the two aspects of my personality that have burned me in the past. Life becomes beautiful not only when shared but also when you learn that sharing can also be something internal. Maybe I learned how to do that when I spent 64 hours alone on the road really thinking about my life.

The truth is, we all have pieces of ourselves that are unexplainable and inevitable, and where in your life do you put something like that? Where do you put something that has no definite place but is always there, just the same?

I think you keep those pieces in a special place between your heart and mind, and I think it’s fair and healthy to show those pieces some light when you need to, rather than bury them under everything else. And I think with time, God will allow the pain and brokenness of those pieces to heal into oblivion, or He will show you how such a beautiful mess fits into your life and makes you a better version of yourself.

Christmas is days away, and this year, I have a very sober feeling about it. Yes, I said sober because for the first time in my life, it’s really not all about the glitz and glamour that is the Christmas season. I really am thankful for my family, my best friends, my sorority sisters and my boyfriend. I don’t feel like I’m taking care of anyone more than myself (neediness a quality I so often sought out in my companions) but I know that mutually we’re all taking care of each other just the same.

I think that’s sort of what Christmas is about. Besides the obvious celebratory occasion of our Savior being born, Christmas is a time to take a step back from whatever the year might have given or taken away and just know that you are taken care of and loved. If you have faith, God uses the people in your life to show you that.

We’re all growing, growing to be better versions of ourselves. And I can see that in the people I surround myself with, and that’s pretty neat. It’s motivating, really, and I’m so excited to live in Warrensburg with my sisters growing into my own skin even more next semester.

Transferred and commuting: complete. Merry Christmas!

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